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Fire yesterday gutted no fewer than 17 shops at the Timber Market in Umuokpu, in the Awka area of Anambra State.
The Eastern Updates gathered that no life was lost in the fire incident that started around 10.16pm and raged till emergency responders including the state fire-fighters besieged the premises to put out their fire.
As of the time this report was filed, the cause of the fire could not be ascertained but eyewitnesses and owners of some of the affected shops said the fire destroyed goods worth millions of naira.
Confirming the incident, the state fire chief, Martin Agbili, said men of the fire service fought the fire to a standstill and prevented it from escalating to other adjoining shops beyond the ones affected.
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He said, ‘Around 10.16pm on Tuesday, the Anambra State Fire Service, received a distress call of a heavy fire outbreak at the Timber Market, Umuokpu, Awka.
‘Immediately, we deployed our fire truck and brave firefighters to the scene. The fire was later fought to a standstill. The cause of the fire is unknown and no life was lost.
‘About 17 shops were badly affected but we were able to control the fire from spreading to many other shops. The time of withdrawal from the scene was 1.06am.
‘We are still at the peak of Harmattan, please avoid anything which can cause a fire outbreak. Always remember that time of the fire call, will determine the time of response to a fire incident.’
Meanwhile, the traders have continued to count their loses.